Most people, addicted or not, have a complicated relationship with money. Not just money, but the way that money relates to their self-worth and how they use it to define themselves. What we often forget is that money is only as important as we tell ourselves it is. This concept becomes exponentially more important in sobriety, as financial insecurity can often compromise our recovery if we aren’t careful.
Remember to be Grateful
I am not saying that money is not important. We all need to eat. But some of us have a hard time separating the idea that we do not have ‘enough’ money from our self-image. A lot of people, even if they know it isn’t true, believe that they will be happy if they have more money. Some may even consider their desire to be humble: “If only I had enough to cover my bills, I would be happier.” The truth is, this is wasted energy.
A lot of millennials getting sober in the United States would be hard pressed if they were asked to recall the last time they went without a bed or food. And, if they did have an answer, usually the reality is that they themselves brought about the situation from selfish living. We often forget how grateful we should be for life’s simple necessities we are provided with every day instead of what it is we perceive we ‘need’.
What You Do For A Living VS. Your Job
That is why it is important for us in recovery to separate the difference between what we do for a living versus what we do for money. Through staying sober, being of service, taking the right indicated action and being humble to advice, I have carved out a small part in this world that gives me all that I need. Because of those actions, I was able to find a job that provides me with everything I need monetarily.
But oftentimes I forget this. I feel like I should be making more money, I feel I should have a ‘better’ job. I forget that I only even have money and a job because of the work I put before that getting sober. I need to remain in constant gratitude, or I end up in a wild cycle of selfish thinking.
The Importance of Financial Amends
Which brings me to the importance of financial amends. Financial amends have helped me and countless others I know in recovery with their financial insecurity. Paying back my debts to the government for past tickets and getting my license back allows me to drive my car. Paying my parents back for my cell phone bill and helping me move allows them to trust me again even after I stole from them. Paying my friend back for the money I stole allows me to open up a friendship I once lost.